10 Forthcoming Augmented Reality & Smart Glasses You Can Buy

Ever since Google launched its Google Glass project, the reality of wearable eyewear seems to be inevitable. Since then, developers from around the world have been trying to take on Google Glass by creating their own wearable display glasses. Instead of just being able take a photo or video, smart glasses have the potential to do so much more. With capabilities such as being able to integrate augmented reality with your own, feeding you live information during your activities, projecting images at a high resolution, and even letting you manipulate 3D objects with ease; it’s only a matter of time before smart glasses become a part of our daily lives.

With that in mind, take a look at our list of 10 forthcoming augmented reality & smart glasses that you can buy to have a look at the future of wearable gadgets. Most of these products are still in development but some are already available for pre-order. Have a look at the future of augmented reality and smart glasses.

1. CastAR

CastAR is comprised of two things, a pair of glasses and a surface for the glasses to scan. There’s a camera in the middle of the glasses that scans your surroundings. It then adjusts accordingly to project images through the two micro-projectors installed on top of the frames. No longer do you need to hold a screen and point it at an AR object. Just wear the glasses and the augmented world is right in front of you. This is a good attempt in bridging the physical and virtual world.

Part of what makes CastAR unique is the additional component called Magic Wand that helps you interact with the augmented world. The Magic Wand can also be used to move an augmented object in the augmented world thus allowing you to do something like play an augmented reality game. [$290-$765]

2. Moverio BT-200

The Moverio BT-200 is an augmented reality headset capable of watching HD contents (3D supported). It also enhances your augmented reality experience when using AR related apps. This headset comes with a front facing camera, a motion sensor, a built-in Dolby Digital Plus for sound, GPS, microphone, compass and projectors. It works by projecting images at a resolution of 960×540 to the transparent glasses, allowing you to watch videos, play games, navigate and plenty more without losing sight of the physical world.

Unlike most augmented reality glasses, instead of being wireless, it needs to be connected to an Android based device at all times. That’s where all the computing power comes from. This allows BT-200 to last for up to 6 hours with impressive specifications like a 1.2GHz dual core processor, 1GB RAM, the drivers for Dolby Digital and an Android system running on Ice Cream Sandwich. [$699]

3. Meta

Meta focuses on what Google Glass does not. It overlays augmented reality on top of your reality. Your gestures are identified by Meta to allow you to freely manipulate 3D objects, where you can basically treat it like a clay. Meta also gives you unlimited screens by just grabbing a piece of paper and playing a video onto that paper; turning it into a flexible computer screen of sorts.

It aims to give users the capability of being able to do full-fledged 3D modelling on the go, using nothing other than Meta itself. Its specs include motion tracking, 3D HD display, 3D surround sound, camera and quality lenses. [$667-$3650]

4. Vuzix M-100

This type of smart glasses will help in relaying information directly to you from a wearable monocular display, similar to that of Google Glass. Vuzix M-100 also comes with direct-onboard processing features plus a camera to help it capture and display augmented reality. However, its focus is for enterprise, commercial and medical applications.

Vuzix M-100 smart glasses is based on Android, therefore it is compatible with thousands of Android applications. It also includes the Nuance Communication speech-to-text software to help improve the M-100 voice dictation system. [$999]

5. Laster SeeThru

SeeThru claim to be the first genuine wireless augmented reality eyewear and instead of relying on a camera to gather information about your surroundings, it relies only on its own series of location plus a GPS to get things done. The Laster SeeThru is not equipped with a camera to avoid comments regarding invasion of privacy.

The SeeThru focuses almost entirely on sports and activities like biking, parachuting and yachting among other things. It helps navigate and gives live information whenever you’re doing such activities. SeeThru is packed with features like wireless & communication with smartphone, localization and navigation, head tracker, and contacts access from phone just to name a few. [$399]

6. Icis

These augmented reality glasses look like any normal glasses without any visibily big components such as a camera. But that doesn’t mean that Icis doesn’t come with a camera. In fact it does. It even comes embedded with other components such as speaker, microphone, battery, the circuit board and everything to make it look like normal eyewear.

Icis can easily be connected to smartphones running Android, iOS and Windows platform using a bluetooth connection. They’re planning on creating an app called socialFlo that allows you to select which apps you’d want to see present in Icis as widgets. [$220]

7. ORA-S

Optinvent ORA-S is a see through wearable display glasses that enables a variety of augmented applications. They even come with bigger and brighter resolution than that of a Google Glass. ORA-S features two mode when it comes to locating virtual images. The standard AR Mode lets you view images at 0 degree angle and the other is called Glance Mode that enables its user to view from a 20 degree angle. To activate them, all you need is to tilt the wearable display on the right side upwards to activate the standard AR Mode. T ilting it downwards enables the Glance Mode.

This AR glasses comes with specifications such as sound (through audio jack), microphone, orientation sensor, camera, WI-Fi, 1.2GHz dual core ARM Cortex microprocessor, 1GB DDR memory with 4GB Flash memory and its running on Android 4.2.2. Since it can be connected to your smartphone or tablet, ORA-S is a good hands-free wearable computer alternative. [$949]

8. GlassUP

There’s a general idea that most wearable computers with display are basically the second output for your smartphone or tablet devices. GlassUp wants to be just that. Unlike other products in this market niche, GlassUp only projects in monochrome instead of full color to improve its battery life duration. It also projects display into your field of vision making it easier to read your noticiations.

Some of the features that come with GlassUP range from sending out emails to reading RSS feeds. GlassUp can also be used in aiding the hearing impaired and even receive translations display when talking in different languages. It’s more than just a second output for your smartphone. [TBA]

9. Atheer One

Here’s another company that regards its augmented reality glasses as an accessory to your smartphone or tablet devices. The Atheer One smart glasses promotes natural interaction, where you can use hand gestures to control it. It consists of two displays for each eye almost equivalent to a 26-inch tablet being put in landscape right in front of your face.

Atheer One requires your Android device to function as it needs to leverage the 2D available in Google Playstore to be converted into a 3D environment. Because Atheer One displays 3D graphics right in front of your eyes, it’s better to interact with the graphics using your hands, as it feels more natural. [$500-$850]

10. K-Glass

K-Glass is a wearable hands-free display project thats similar to others but has a more unique technology to it. Unlike the others, K-Glass focuses on replicating the process of how our brains form our surroundings when it receives the information from our eyes. Using a technology called Visual Attention Modem (VAM), it categorizes relevant and irrelevant visual data, replicating the human brain’s ability.

This way K-Glass can give its user even more intelligent augmented reality. Hence, providing its user with present and relevant information. For example, you’re looking for something to eat and end up outside of some restaurant, K-Glass can prompt you with an overlay menu of that restaurants food. Therefore, you don’t have to waste time and effort in getting that information. [TBA]